Pittsburgh Pirates: Jung Ho Kang to Undergo Surgery

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang will undergo wrist surgery.  The surgery is expected to end his 2018 season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and their fan base were excited to see Jung Ho Kang get back to the United States.  After getting a DUI in the 2016-2017 off-season, the former up and coming third base star could not get back into the United States.  When a non U.S. citizen has an active investigation going on against him they are denied their work VISA to re-enter the country.  Ultimately, Kang was given a two year prison sentence in South Korea.  However, they suspended the sentence and basically allowed him to be on probation over the next two years.

With that, Kang was able to come back to the United States and get back to playing baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. When he first came back in May, he was put into the extended spring training program in Bradenton.  This allowed him to slowly work back into everyday game action.  Finally, Kang was given an assignment to play for the High-A Bradenton Marauders.  He looked like he did not miss a beat.  In seven games with the Marauders, Kang slashed .417/.531/.875 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, and six walks to three strikeouts.

The Bucs quickly promoted Kang to Triple-A.  The hope was for Kang to tear up Triple-A and get promoted to the majors to replace one of the, at the time, underperforming infielders like David Freese or Jordy Mercer.  Instead, Kang struggled.  He was one for his first 16 with Indianapolis. All in all, he played in nine Triple-A games and only slashed .235/.308/.406.  However, it may make sense why Kang was struggling.  After his nine games, he was placed on the minor league disabled list with an apparent injury to his left wrist.  So maybe this was affecting his performance at the plate.

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Well, today it was reported that Jung-Ho Kang would be receiving surgery to his left wrist.  This was reported by Jee-ho Yoo South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.  Originally, Kang was supposed to get back to playing this past week, however, he suffered a setback.  The setback likely caused them to reexamine his wrist and realize that surgery was the best route.  The recovering time is expected to be 4-6 weeks, likely putting him out until after the minor league season is over.  Kang will likely have to wait until next year before playing again in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  However, one positive is this will allow him to have a normal off-season and Spring Training to start next season.  A normal baseball schedule is something that might be the best thing for Kang going forward.